Diomande hearing: Open Cup panel finds insufficient evidence of racial epithet

A U.S. Soccer panel convened to hear disciplinary matters in the Open Cup found that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that a racial epithet was directed at LAFC forward Adama Diomande by a Portland Timbers player in their quarterfinal match LAFC won, 3-2.

U.S. Soccer released the findings of the U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel, which heard from all players involved and reviewed the match official's report, along with written statements and video evidence provided by the clubs:

-- The accused player strongly denied using a racial epithet;
-- No other individual that was able to confirm they heard the alleged use of the racial epithet.

After the game, Diomande, 28, posted a statement on Instagram in which he said he was called a racial slur during the game at Banc of California Stadium. He said it was the first time in his career he was called the "N" word. He didn't say who did it, but he finished his post by saying that "the player have been reported."

From the U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel's written decision:

"...this is a case of a dispute over what was said between players on the playing field, amidst noise, confusion and multiple speakers speaking at once and in at least two languages. The match official did not hear the statement in question and did not issue a caution based on the incident, nor did any other player in the vicinity come forward to confirm they heard the alleged statement...Given the possibility that it is always possible to mishear or misunderstand another individual in a tense situation, the Panel concluded it does not have a basis to value the credibility of one player over another in this matter."

The panel noted as a matter of principle it condemned all forms of racial abuse and the use of a racial epithet has no place on or off the field.
Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications